Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke to a packed Hall Auditorium Monday as part of Miami University’s Lecture Series.
Gupta is the chief medical correspondent for CNN and has won several Emmy Awards for his coverage. Though he continues to actively practice neurosurgery while reporting for CNN, he has covered many events such as the 9/11 attacks, the recent tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti and flooding in Pakistan.
Gupta answered questions from a small group of students in Bishop Hall Monday afternoon, followed by a short interview with Miami’s weekly television program, Oxford Week in Review, as well as dinner before his speech at Hall Auditorium at 8 p.m.
Gupta’s busy day at Miami mirrors his busy life as a doctor, medical journalist and a father of three children.
“I love what I do,” Gupta told students. “If you love what you do, you never have to work another day in your life, and that’s how I feel.”
Gupta spoke about how health care and medicine are practiced around the world, the healthcare system in the United States, and gave a behind-the-scenes look at the medical stories covered on television.
When asked how he deals with the conflict of being both a doctor and a journalist, Gupta said the decision isn’t that difficult for him.
“If the call ever came, it was an easy one,” he said. “I’m a doctor first.” He also told students that CNN respects that he is in surgery one or two days each week and understands he has big commitments as a doctor.
Faculty members and students alike were in attendance for Gupta’s lecture.
“This is the second time in two years we’ve had a major CNN correspondent here on campus,” David Keitges, director of international education, said.
Soledad O’Brien, a correspondent for CNN’s special investigations unit, spoke at Hall Auditorium in April 2011.
“I hope that lots of students have the chance to meet him while he’s here,” Keitges said, adding that Gupta does not accept all invitations to speak at universities.
First-year Kelsey Wagner and sophomore Jasmine Sandhu said they were interested to hear Gupta speak.
“I think [Gupta’s lecture] is a really good opportunity for students,” Wagner said. “It’s cool to see where we could be years down the road,” she said.
“I’ve always watched him on CNN,” Sandhu said. “I thought it would be a cool experience to see him live.”
As for his future plans, Gupta said he has a novel being released in March called Monday Mornings. The book, which Gupta said is not autobiographical, is about doctors openly discussing their mistakes, a topic that Gupta said involve “tough issues, tough stories to give.”
Gupta, who worked with the Bill Clinton administration in 1997 and 1998, was also considered for surgeon general when President Barack Obama took office. He said he hopes to revisit that kind of work.
“Getting back into public service would be on the check list,” Gupta said about his future plans.
When asked by a student how to make a difference in the world, Gupta offered this advice:
“You can make a huge impact in the world in a lot of different ways. Do what you’re good at and what you love to do.”